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Erika Dickerson Named Assistant Executive Director of Black Women’s Blueprint

Erika Dickerson is the new Assistant Executive Director of Black Women’s Blueprint, Inc., a civil and human rights organization with the mission to develop a culture where women of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased. Black Women’s Blueprint works to place Black women and girls’ lives as well as their particular struggles squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities and is committed to building movements where gender matters in broader social justice organizing so that all members of our communities gain social, political and economic equity. The organization engages in progressive research, historical documentation, policy advocacy and organizing steeped in the struggles of Black women within their diverse communities and within dominant culture. Black Women’s Blueprint’s largest initiative is its Truth Commission. Truth Commissions on sexual violence, poverty, criminal justice abuse, a Gender Justice Fund and Black HerStory project affirm the Black historical context as inextricably linked to the current state of affairs for women in Black communities and the persistent hostile policies and cultural norms that continue to impact their lives.

Erika recalls learning of Black Women’s Blueprint’s work while an undergraduate student at UW-Madison. It was during this time that she’d taken Dr. Keisha Lindsay’s GWS/AFROAM 423: Black Feminism course, wherein she developed the language for the Black Feminist Standpoint from which she’d innately operated throughout her life. Erika is excited to organize with many of the revered Black feminists she’d studied in her textbook, Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought. “I am in a revolutionary situation,” Erika says. “Millennial Black women under 30 in executive leadership positions within our cultural and artistic institutions is not happenstance. My generation is radical, and by that I echo Angela Davis in that we are committed to “grasping things by the root.” I am excited to continue to fight chronic institutional and systematic disenfranchisement, educational malpractice, and other debilitating conditions that massacre Black women’s socioeconomic flourishing and the flourishing of our communities.”

More Alumni Notes

Leah Hunter ’05 has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as associate commissioner for external affairs, where she oversees agency-wide communications activities regarding the FDA’s public health and regulatory activities.